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Montpellier

Montpellier, host city of the Women's FIFA World Cup, France 2019
© LOC

France’s leading sports city and its third largest student city, with its internationally renowned universities and schools of higher education, Montpellier can take pride from its rich and eventful history and its exciting and stunning architectural and cultural heritage. The passage of time and the talents of its men and women have made their mark on Montpellier in many different ways. From the Place du Peyrou to its contemporary art, it has much to offer visitors.

Montpellier has an awful lot going for it and plenty of surprises in store for the five million people who visit it every year: medieval streets and squares, newly built areas combining green spaces and modern buildings, the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, the Tour de la Babote, the Tour des Pins, the Jardins du Peyrou and, last but certainly not least, the Place de la Comédie with its famous Trois Grâces fountain.

Situated in the south of France, just 10 kilometres from the Mediterranean, it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and one of France’s lowest annual rainfall rates, all of which makes it a great place to live. Adding to its allure are a whole series of annual sporting and cultural events, such as the Comédie du Livre (book fair), Montpellier Danse, the International Festival of Extreme Sports, and the Cinemed Film Festival. There is something for everyone in Montpellier. A visit here is sure to be an experience to remember, a breathtaking journey through centuries and styles, and a fascinating insight into the character of France’s seventh city, a city that is carefree and free spirited.

Football
Founded in 1919 as Stade Olympique Montpelliérain, the city’s football club changed its name to Montpellier Herault Sport Club in 1974, during Louis Nicollin’s long reign as its president. It was one of the first in France to nurture women’s football and provide its women’s team with the backing it needed to become a professional concern. Since 2001, the year in which the women’s team was set up, the talented MHSC have won two French league titles – in 2004 and 2005 – and finished league runners-up four times. They have also won the Coupe de France three times between 2006 and 2017.

MHSC’s best performance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League (which was known as the UEFA Women’s Cup prior to 2009) came in the 2005/06 season, when they reached the semi-finals. The U-19 side has also tasted success on several occasions, adding to the 2018 league title to its 2011, 2012 and 2013 championship wins.